While almost everyone and their brother took a hit during the pandemic, perhaps no other industry received the brunt of the blow more so than travel tech. Having weathered the storm by optimising operations and achieving growth, despite all the odds, Greek startup Welcome Pickups has raised €5.3 million in a new funding round.
As the name suggests, Welcome Pickups works in the travel sector, specifically transportation, and sees the €5.3 million arrive via existing investors, Market One Capital, Flashpoint, and Venture Friends. While no specific breakdown of the round was provided, given the participation of Flashpoint, I’m going to assume that a portion of this investment is provided as a debt facility.
According to Welcome Pickups’ CEO Alex Trimis, “The additional funding will be used to accelerate the company’s geographical reach with a goal to double its destination network, focusing strongly on launching new destinations in North and South America. A portion of the funds will also go to further improving customer experience and developing new products.”
Part GetYourGuide and part Uber, Welcome Pickup specialises in offering travelers not only personalised transfers that according to the company are, designed to make you feel welcome, but also coordinates destination-specific sightseeing tours, all guided by a personal driver.
After demonstrating the ability to not only ride out the COVID storm but achieve a 50% growth rate and launch of over 30 new destinations over the course of 2022, investors were clearly impressed and ready to pump €5.3 million more into the company.
Welcome Pickups attributes a portion of this success to streamlining processes and increasing product-led automation throughout its operations. In so much, they managed to reduce the human intervention factor by 8x. Likewise, according to the company they’ve been profitable for the past 18 months, earning a positive EBITDA rating and securing themselves an unlimited runway status.